Things to Do in Mexico City with Kids (or Without) – Mexico City Travel Blog

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Fun things to do in Mexico City with kids. Great things to do in Mexico City for couples and solo travelers. Amazing Mexico City tours and fantastic things to do in Mexico City for teens and the young-at-heart. This Mexico City travel blog post has it all. Mexico City attractions have something for everyone. Whether you’re in Mexico City for 48 hours or a month, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. Let us fill you in.

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Fun Things to Do in Mexico City with Kids (or Without)

We’ve been in and out of Mexico City more than a dozen times now. And you know what? I’m never ready to leave. This Mexico City travel blog post will attempt to summarize just some of the fun you can have here: families, solo travelers, and couples. We based ourselves in San Miguel de Allende (aka SMA) for around a year and a half. SMA is amazing, but it doesn’t have an airport. That means that we often fly into Mexico City with kids and then take the bus north (more on how to do that here). After our first weekend in Mexico City with kids, I realized that we should always schedule several days in town before and/or after flights. Now I realize a few days just isn’t enough. We love exploring Mexico City with kids that much.

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Mexico City Travel Blog

There is so much to write about things to do in Mexico City with kids (and without) that I feel like I’m just getting started. I have a feeling that I’ll keep adding to it the more we visit. Mexico City is full of world-class museums, lush parks, and jaw-dropping architecture. There are also lovely cafes, incredible markets, and hip, tree-lined neighborhoods. You could spend an entire day simply walking through one of the city’s beautiful neighborhoods (see more below). If you’re on your own, I’d consider it. Even if you’re in Mexico City with kids, there are parks, playgrounds, and fountains along the way. Oh, and did I mention the chocolate shops and ice cream parlors?

Mexico City = CDMX, DF, and “Mexico”

what to do in mexico city

Mexico City goes by several names. One is CDMX, or Ciudad de Mexico, the Spanish-language name for Mexico City. Another name for Mexico City is DF, which stands for Distrito Federal. In fact, many Mexicans literally call Mexico City “Mexico.” That’s right: just “Mexico.” As in “I’m going to Mexico for the weekend. Wanna come?” So to review, the capital of Mexico has several names:

  • Mexico City
  • CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico)
  • DF (Distrito Federal)
  • or simply “Mexico”

Mexico City Tours: What to Do in Mexico City ASAP

Mexico City Tours - Street Art Tour Best things to do in mexico city

When planning what to do in Mexico City, we highly suggest scheduling at least one or two Mexico City tours during your stay. And book any Mexico City tours early. That way you have someone knowledgable showing you around near the beginning of your trip. You can ask your questions then (where to eat, what to do, where to avoid, etc), and then still have time to act on what they recommend. We’ve taken a number of Mexico City tours and have enjoyed all of them thus far. Below are a few of our recommendations.

Mexico City Culinary Tours

What to do in Mexico City? Eat, drink, and then eat some more. The Mexico City street food scene is one of the most vibrant and delicious in the world. But how do you know which stalls to try? Or which markets to wander through? Enter the Mexico City food tour. This is what to do in Mexico City for anyone who can step away from fine dining and get to what real people eat on a daily basis.

There are lots of great street food tours and market tours in Mexico City. We loved our Eat Mexico Culinary Tour because the guide was great and the area we walked (Roma, Juarez, etc) is the same area where we like to stay as well. In fact, we’ve been back to some of the same food stalls they recommended for us maybe a dozen times! One of the best things to do in Mexico City for the culinary traveler.

Mexican Cooking Class with Aura Cocina Mexicana

Food is one of the most direct ways to experience a culture, and our cooking class in Mexico City was a great (and delicious!) lesson. We started with a market tour to buy ingredients (and to sample things here and there). Then it was back to Graciela Montaño’s kitchen to cook them up. Graciela is a local TV personality and Mexican culinary ambassador, and we loved our time in her adorable workspace in Colonia Roma. One of the best things to do in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood.

Mexico City Street Art Tour with Stylewalk MX

Another of our favorite Mexico City activities is seeking out great street art, and there is a LOT here. We had snapped some pics here and there when we found some good pieces, but it wasn’t until this Mexico City street art tour that we began to truly understand and appreciate the techniques and meaning behind the work. They even let us do a little spray painting as well! One of the most fun things to do in Mexico City with teens.

More Mexico City Tours

The above Mexico City tours are just a few that we’ve written about, but there are many many more great Mexico City tours to consider. Here are a few worth looking into. If you’re looking for what to do in Mexico City, start here. 

Full-Day Xochimilco & Coyoacan Tour w/Frida Kahlo Museum

Mexico City Cantinas, Lucha Libre & Mariachi

Original Mexico City Markets & Street Food Tours

Mexico City Attractions: Things to Do in Mexico City

Museo Jumex Soumaya Museum places to visit in mexico city

There are so many things to do in Mexico City that it’s almost impossible to put them all into one Mexico City travel blog post. I’ll have to just add more here as we discover new things. Below I’ve divided up the Mexico City attractions into a few categories: Mexico City museums, parks, history and more.

Mexico City Museums – What to Do in Mexico City

With around 150 Mexico City museums to choose from, Mexico City you could stay indoors for months. From history to contemporary art, museums are one of the best things to do in Mexico City with kids or without. Here are a few we recommend.

Casa Azul

casa azul mexico city attractions

This is the former home of Frida Kahlo and her husband, the revered muralist Diego Rivera. It’s a beautiful home, and it contains some of her work. That said, your visit will mean much more if you learn more about her life before you visit. (I recommend listening to this SYSK podcast episode). A last-minute option is to get an audio guide when you arrive.

This is a museum, but don’t expect to see room after room of her most famous works. Those are spread across National Museums and private collections all over the world. That said, the house feels like a museum with all the personal items and other work it holds. And just a few years ago, they unlocked some rooms in the house. There they discovered more of her work, her clothing, and other personal items, which are now on display.

Get Tickets Beforehand

I highly recommend buying tickets online beforehand — either via tour or just reserve online. This is one of the most popular things to do in Mexico City and there is always a line, and when you buy tickets ahead of time, you have a designated time of entry. But definitely go, it’s what to do in Mexico City if you can only do a few things.

National Museum of Anthropology

Mexico City Anthropology Museum - mexico city museums - things to do in mexico city

The National Museum of Anthropology is one of the most fascinating things to do in Mexico City. It is famous around the world for its vast and unmatched collection of Meso-American art and artifacts. This is much more than some pottery sherds. There are jade funerary masks. There are ornately carved stone calendars. And there is an Aztec headdress that is dazzling. Most people suggest visiting this museum more than once. I have, and can’t wait to go back and dig deeper. Like the Louvre, it’s hard to take in all in one go.

Anahuacalli Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art

In addition to the murals and Casa Azul, this is what to do in Mexico City for admirers of Diego Rivers.  He created and designed this museum himself, using volcanic rock. Inside the rooms are filled with over 50,000 artworks and artifacts collected by Rivera over the years. Rivera felt that too much Mesoamerican work was leaving the country for the collections of faraway museums, so he created this place to keep it at home. The Museum is about 15 minutes (by car) south of Casa Azul.

Museo de Arte Popular

museo arte popular - mexico city museums

While the museum’s name may make you think of Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Haring, the Museum of Popular Art is not a pop art museum. Rather, this is one of the most amazing repositories of Mexican folk art ever collected. Bright, colorful and playful, this is easily one of the best museums in Mexico City for kids. And one of the best things to do in Mexico City for anyone.

Soumaya Museum

Soumaya Museum. Things to do in mexico city

This jaw-dropping structure is one of the most memorable and beautiful buildings in Mexico City. Whether the art inside is your cup of tea is up to you. This is the private collection of billionaire Mexican mogul Carlos Slim, and there are floors of old coins and oil paintings that we breezed through, but this is one of the best places to visit in Mexico City because of the building itself and to see some of the work.

The collection is free to visit and worth a walk-in. I enjoyed seeing his collection of hand-carved mammoth ivory and loads of work from the sculptor Auguste Rodin (“The Thinker” and many others). However, my kids mostly enjoyed the spiraling walkway to the top and back. It’s worth it if only for that. Some people recommend taking the elevator to the top and then walking down. This may be true, but since the top floor was our favorite (and we like the extra exercise) we’re glad we slowly meandered to the top.

Acuario Inbursa

Also owned by Carlos Slim, Acuario Inbursa is a colorful (and somewhat claustrophobic) indoor aquarium. Over 300 species of sea life reside here. It’s a short walk from the Museo Jumex and Soumaya Museum in the Polanco neighborhood. Perhaps it’s worth a visit if your kids like this sort of thing. That said, it’s not the best thing to do in Mexico City if you’re in town for a short while.

Museo Jumex

Contemporary art fans: this is where to go in Mexico City. Just next door to the Soumaya Museum you’ll find Museo Jumex. It has large, spacious white rooms for large-scale installations and video work. We spent considerably more time here exploring the traveling exhibitions. Like with any contemporary art museum, how much you enjoy depends on your tastes. And whatever show is in town that week, of course.

Best Museums in Mexico City with Kids 

papalotes kids museum — Mexico City with kids - things to do in mexico city with kids

Visiting museums is one of the more reliable things to do in Mexico City since there are so many of them. We take our kids to any and all types of museums wherever we go, but I think that these Mexico City museums below are particularly great to visit when in Mexico City with kids.

Museo Interactivo de Economia (MIDE)

MIDE Museum of Economics

Okay okay, so you’re thinking to yourself: “A museum of economics for kids…yay?” I get it. Economics sounds like such a drab and lifeless topic for kids to “interact” with. Yet this museum does an amazing job of making money, populations and policies come alive. It really is one of the most interesting museums in Mexico City for kids. It also touches on environmental aspects. For example, one exhibit explains each component of a cell phone. What it costs, where the raw materials come from, and what effects that have on the country it’s produced in.

The exhibits are mostly in Spanish, but most of the concepts are easy to grasp without the language. We’ve included it in our best things to do in Mexico City with kids because it’s also close to the historic center and quite fascinating for some kids.

El Papalote Museo del Niño

El Papalote, Museo del Niño Things to Do in Mexico City with kids

This is Mexico City’s very impressive children’s museum. Covering a huge, multi-floored space, El Papalote is full of “edutainment” type exhibits. They teach science and social studies concepts while really being one big playground. There are places to test hand-made rockets. There are drawing and art stations, interactive exhibits and loads of places to run and climb. And there is also a high-tech cinema playing 4D/IMAX-type films for extra.

This is a fun and bewildering place to wander with young ones. And when I say “young,” I guess I mean under 10 years old. I went with my 12-year-old, and we realized quickly that she’s just too old for it now. Two years earlier I would have had to drag her out of a place like that.

Futura CDMX – Centro Interactivo

This is one of the best things to Mexico city for kids, but adults and solo travelers can enjoy this museum as well. Like many of the best museums in Mexico City, Futura CDMX is full of interactive exhibits that both educate while they entertain. Possibly the best part of Futura CDMX is a meticulously crafted scale model of the entire city. One of the best things to do in Mexico City for map and geography nerds.

Mucho Mundo Chocolate

Mucho Mundo Chocolate Museum what to do in mexico city

Chocolate lovers know that this is what to do in Mexico City. We recommend visiting, but is this one of the best things to do in Mexico City for you? It depends. I found the museum very interesting. That said, it involved a lot of reading. The exhibits are in a lovely old home, but they are mostly text-based rather than hands-on.

My daughter and I enjoyed fiddling with the cocoa powder in one room and enjoyed taking pictures of walls made of chocolate. But in the end, she just wanted to get to the chocolateria downstairs. The chocolate shop is good, although somewhat pricey compared to local sweet shops. We stayed and got a few things anyway and enjoyed our visit. Older kids may enjoy the exhibits as I did, Younger…I’m not so sure.

Museo Mural Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera Mural Museum in Mexico City

The centerpiece of this museum is one of Diego Rivera’s most famous murals: Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central, which once occupied the wall of a hotel that was destroyed in Mexico City’s 1985 earthquake. The story of its removal and transportation is amazing in an of itself, but the vivid mural is also a sight to behold. Much of modern Mexican history is laid out in this mural, and with Spanish and English labels, you can read exactly who is who.

Upstairs, many of the mural’s characters stand as 2d cut-outs so that you can pose with them if you so desire. There are some costumes for kids to wear as well, and my 13-year-old got into it a bit more than we expected. The mural’s name means “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central,” which is Mexico City’s oldest park, and it sits just outside. On the east side of the park are more Rivera murals in the Palacio de Bellas Artes. 

History & Architecture: Mexico City Attractions

Palacio de bellas artes. where to go in Mexico City

The story of Mexico City is long and fascinating. Once the center of the Aztec world, then conquered by the Spanish, who built massive and imposing buildings right on top of ancient pyramids. Exploring these structures and the stories behind them are easily one of the best things to do in Mexico City. Many of the most famous Mexico City attractions are in this area. I cover only a few of them in this Mexico City travel blog but plan to add more as we discover them ourselves.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes Diego Rivera Murals - things to do in mexico city

palacio de bellas artes murals interactive what to do in mexico city with kids

This is one of the most beautiful buildings in Mexico City. The Palacio de Bellas Artes is also one of its most popular and recognized landmarks. And one of the most crowded. The building is worth a visit alone, but don’t leave without seeing its famous murals by Diego Rivera and others. These are upstairs near the galleries for traveling exhibitions. They now have some fun interactive touch screens which help engage both young and old with the historic figures in the murals. 

El Centro de Historico

Anyone looking for what to do in Mexico City may want to start here. The blocks surrounding the Zocalo (central square) at the heart of Mexico City are a must for all travelers. It’s often crowded and touristy, but for good reason. The imposing buildings around it are a sight to behold — the cathedral being the most amazing. If you’re lucky, there will be a festival of some kind being held in the massive square. It’s pretty common.

This is also where you can watch people performing ancient Aztec rituals for people. They’ll be hard to miss, dressed in loincloths, bones and elaborate feather headdresses. They may be blowing the smoke of burning sage over someone to “cleanse” them. The streets and buildings that surround the historic center are worth several hours of one day. Just walk and explore. Step inside the churches and sweet shops for a taste of what life here is like. Easily one of the best things to do in Mexico City with kids or without.

Templo Mayor

Templo mayor. Mexico City Travel Blog. histrorical things to do in mexico city

Just north of the Zocalo is the Templo Mayor. This is the center of what was once the Aztec capital that lies beneath modern-day Mexico City. You can see the ancient ruins here, surrounded by urban grandeur. The museum here also shows how the ancient Aztec city laid the foundations for what is today’s modern-day capital. This is one of the best things to do in Mexico City for everyone, and it’s easy to access if you explore the historic district.

Parks, Playgrounds & Other Amusement: Mexico City Travel Blog

Chapultapec Park Mexico city parks. things to do in mexico city

Mexico City is a massive metropolis, with one of the highest population densities in the world. Yet despite the numbers, much of Mexico City is full of wide boulevards, tree-lined lanes, and beautiful parks. There are plenty of places to walk run, play or simply go for a scenic stroll — both indoor and out. Here are a few of them.

Chapultepec Park

The biggest of all the parks in Mexico City is Chapultepec Park. It is the largest city park in the western hemisphere, and arguably one of the best in the world, as well. You could spend days here. Chapultepec Park has playgrounds, a zoo, a castle, walking and biking lanes, a lake and some of the city’s best museums. This tiny paragraph doesn’t begin to describe all that the park offers. Just look on Google Maps at its size and everything contained within it. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Mexico City with kids or without, but best to plot out your route. The park is gigantic and it’s easy to stay in there for far longer than you may have planned. 

Fuente de Tlaloc

Fuente Tlaloc Chapultepec Park - what to do in Mexico City

One of the most interesting places in this area is the Fuente de Tlaloc, a fountain, mural, and art installation near the center of the western part of Chapultepec Park. The massive pool depicts Mesoamerican water spirit, while inside the building adjacent is an amazing mural covering the cistern of a fountain. There is also a sound installation here that was not working during our visit, but I would readily go back to see it another time. Because of its obscurity and difficulty to reach (easy to locate just time consuming since the park around it is so huge), I don’t classify this as one of the best things to do in Mexico City. That is of course unless you are a fan of Diego Rivera (like I am) and have the time (like we did). If that’s the case, then it’s so worth it. 

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. what to do in Mexico City tours

Far south of the city center is the borough of Xochimilco. Many people say that one of the best things to do in Mexico City is to take take a boat ride through the ancient waterways here. 

Six Flags Mexico

Here’s one to add to the “no duh” department of this post. If you’re exploring Mexico City with kids, then perhaps head to an amusement park! Like other branches of Six Flags, you’ll find loads of world-class roller coasters and other rides. They also have shows and other performances.

Piggybacking off of the success of superhero movies nowadays, I think that Six Flags has partnered with DC Comics. Why? Because the commercials we see on Mexican TV all the time have Wonder Woman front and center. We haven’t been to Six Flags Mexico. Not yet. But I grew up about half an hour from Six Flags over Georgia (the state, not the country). I can tell you that there is something for every age there. If you really can’t think of what to do in Mexico City with kids, then this is a no-brainer.

Six Flags Mexico City: Tickets and Transfer


This indoor amusement park is modeled on the working world. Kids get to dress up and play the part of firemen, dentists, taxi drivers, construction workers, and more. As you can probably tell, this is what to do in Mexico City with kids who still like to “play pretend.”

It is expensive and has lots of corporate ties to the companies that the kids “work” for. With that in mind, expect lots of company logos seared into your kids’ consciousness (like they aren’t already). When my kids were younger and we still live in Japan, I brought them to the Kidzania in Tokyo and they loved it. Many people think that it’s one of the best things to do in Mexico City with kids.

Granja las Americas

Another great amusement park in Mexico City. Granja las Americas is more for younger kids. Its farm theme gets into educational aspects (agriculture and science). Your kids will have lots of opportunities to interact with live animals like cows and chickens. There’s a thrill element as well, with rides where kids can rock climb and drive cars as well. This is what to do in Mexico City with younger kids, but not really for anyone else.


This is a chain of trampoline parks across the metropolis. Consider this one of the things to do in Mexico City on a rainy day or whenever you want to tire the kids out. Jump-in will do the trick.

Markets, Shopping, and Walking Areas: Mexico City Attractions

market coyoacan - Things to Do in Mexico City with Kids Mexico city tours

Many of the best things to do in Mexico City don’t cost a thing. I’m talking window shopping, walking through traditional markets and going for a stroll. Mexico City is a great place for walking and people-watching. If you’re traveling with kids, then you’re likely to find a park, a playground or an ice cream shop along the way. Here are a few of the best places in Mexico City to go for a walk. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or a bite to eat, the best markets in Mexico City have you covered. Here are few we’ve included in this Mexico City travel blog post.

Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela (aka La Ciudadela)

What to do in Mexico City if you’re shopping for souvenirs and handicrafts. La Ciudadela is a great place for textiles, clothing and hand-made wooden toys. You’ll find everything from the cheesiest souvenirs to fine rugs. Respectful bargaining is welcomed, but walk through the entire place and ask prices before committing.

Mercado Coyoacan

Located a few blocks from Casa Azul, Mercado Coyoacan is a vibrant market full of food stalls, clothing, and much more. In our opinion, it’s also one of the best places to eat in Mexico City after visiting Frida Kahlo’s home.

Mercado Sonora

This is possibly the most bizarre market in Mexico City, with stalls dedicated to witch supplies. No, I’m not talking cauldrons and eyes of newt. More like herbs for various health maladies and powders to bring love or drive away evil.

Mercado de la Merced

About a 20-minute walk from the Zocalo, this massive marketplace has a bit of everything. Here you’ll find meat, produce, crafts, and much much more. It’s one of the best markets in Mexico City but remember just how crowded it can get. Also where to go in Mexico City for foodies looking for some authentic Mexican food.

Bazar Fusion / Casa Fusion

Very cool design market comprised of dozens of small independent shops selling everything from handmade candles to silver jewelry to one-of-a-kind kids’ clothes. There are lots of these designer markets around Mexico City, but Bazar Fusion is one of the most well respected and established. In fact, they don’t move from venue to venue now. They’re all inside one old house in the very cool Juarez neighborhood.

Lucha Libre in Mexico City

Lucha Libre in Mexico City wrestling

This is not something I thought I’d actually recommend. After all, I’ve never been a fan of wrestling. Ever. And to be honest, I’m still not a fan now…except now maybe for Mexican wrestling. What’s the difference between ‘Merrikun wrastlin’ and Mexican Lucha-Libre-style wrestling? I like the way a friend put it to me: “With American wrestling, some people actually think it’s real and there’s lots of drama and anger built into the act,” he explains. “In Mexico, no one believes it’s real. Everyone is just there for a big spectacle.” 

I don’t know if he’s right, but we really enjoyed the show and now think it’s one of the most entertaining things to do in Mexico City. There was an amazing amount of acrobatics, dance and humor involved. Sometimes the fighting looked real, while at other times it was obviously staged. All the while, everyone gasped and screamed just the same. We got caught up in it just like the crowd around us. The spectators were a surprising mix of tourists and locals from all walks of life: you could tell who were the real fans, but between them were families, off-the-clock businessmen and middle-aged ladies dressed for a night on the town. Sitting next to me was a guy who looked like a hospital intern, still in scrubs. 

Lucha Libre Tickets

There are Mexico City tours operators that handle tickets and pickup/dropoff, but I recommend just doing it on your own. Getting tickets to Lucha Libre in Mexico City is easy. Just show up 30-60 minutes before the show, which is usually twice a week: Tuesday and Friday. The Friday bouts play to a fuller crowd. The line for tickets is obvious. There are touts around selling tickets, but we were told that the seats they offer are bad. We stood in line and had got seats on the first level.  Inexplicably, cameras are not allowed: they search bags at the entrance so I’m glad I left mine at the hotel. However, everyone is taking pictures with their phones. Go figure. 

Mexico City Logistics

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, so it’s best to show up with a plan. Here are a few tips tricks and insights we’d recommend for your Mexico City adventure. 

Is Mexico City Safe?

Soumaya museum best museums in Mexico city

When I sing the praises of exploring Mexico City with kids, I often hear “Is Mexico City safe?” Many times. Mexico gets a bad rap in the press. Yes, the country has its problems. But don’t confuse the pockets of land controlled by drug cartels with the capital of the country…or the country as a whole. Mexico City is a clean, beautiful city with a strong police force. And it is a massive city.

All the places I recommend are in the old downtown or in charming refurbished neighborhoods near the heart of the city. Aside from the odd trip to the convenience store, I have not gone out much late at night. It’s quite probable that the safety rules can change then, as they do in many big cities. That said, I have been many times alone or with my daughter looking for dinner at around 9 pm or later and felt completely safe.

For perspective, at the time of writing, Mexico City has a much lower murder rate than four US Cities: St Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit. So if you ask “Is Mexico safe?” first ask yourself if New Orleans is “safe.” Would you tell people to never go to St Louis of New Orleans? With this in mind, here are a few safety recommendations for Mexico City:

Mexico Cty Safety Tips

  • Stick to downtown and the neighborhoods mentioned in this post. In general, the further from downtown you go, the more questionable the neighborhoods can become.
  • Be mindful of flaunting flashy gear and accessories. In any major city, that can make you a mark. A nice watch, an expensive camera — be wary of how visible these are.
  • Use ATMs during daylight hours, and keep a little money in more than one location.
  • Don’t just jump in any cab. Have your hotel or restaurant call you one. There are cases of “express kidnapping.” This is where a shady non-cab takes you directly to an ATM, where you are then “asked” to give them what they ask for.

Mexico City Weather & Events – Best Time to Visit Mexico City

When is the best time to visit Mexico City? The answer: whenever! We’ve visited in every season and there are always fun things to do in Mexico City. Here are a few more tips. 

Mexico City Weather / Mexico City Elevation

Mexico City weather is best in the Spring and Fall, but the sun shines here most of the year. The rainy season lasts from June to November, but it rarely rains all day. That said, bring an umbrella during that time. It rarely rains outside those months. But remember that Mexico City elevation is 2,250 meters above sea level. That’s MUCH higher than Denver, Colorado (1,730 meters)! Because of this, expect much cooler evenings and mornings. Don’t show up at the Mexico City airport in shorts and sandals! This also means that the rain cools things down fast. You don’t want to be caught in a downpour. Mexico City elevation also means higher UV levels. It’s warm and pleasant most days year-round, but wear a hat or sunscreen if you’re out for the day. 

Mexico City Festivals & Events

One of the best things to do in Mexico City is to attend a few events around town. The Zocalo (main square) regularly has festivals and fairs worth checking out. The most famous Mexico City festival is probably Dia de Los Muertos (November 1-2). The costumes, the altars to relatives…it’s amazing. Then there is September 15th, which is Mexico Independence Day. It’s a big deal here, and the celebration goes on and on. Many people get this confused with May 5 (aka “Cinco de Mayo, baby!!”). This is more of a regional holiday in nearby Puebla, but there is a parade in Mexico City as well. 


A weekly Mexico City event that can be fun to experience is Ciclovia. Between 8 am and 2 pm every Sunday, parts of Mexico City are shut off to automobiles and bicycles take over the city. I learned recently that Ciclovia originated in Colombia (our very proud Colombian cycling guide told us this), but Mexico City is one of the largest cities to make is a government-sanctioned event. We tried to get some of the free bicycles offered by the city last time we were in town and just missed the last ones being handed out. Get there before 10 am and you shouldn’t have a problem. 

Getting Around Mexico City

_CDMX taxiGetting around mexico city

Much of Mexico City is walkable, but it’s a huge metropolis and you’ll need some help getting around. The train/subway system is cheap and very convenient. We’ve used it a lot, but not at night. Taxis are also a great way to get around. That said, we don’t recommend hailing one from the sidewalk. There are some shady characters who pose as proper taxis that aren’t. Instead, have your hotel or restaurant call you one to make sure it’s official. Actually, Uber is our favorite way of getting around Mexico City. Uber in Mexico City is everywhere. They are tracked by the company, and the drivers have been consistently prompt and professional for us.

Our Favorite Mexico City Neighborhoods

Whether you’re staying overnight or for weeks on end, choosing the right Mexico City neighborhood to stay in may affect what you see, do and eat. These are our favorite neighborhoods.

Condesa/Roma/Zona Rosa/Juarez

I’ll make this short: this is where to stay in Mexico City, in my opinion. At least that’s where we usually stay. These four neighborhoods border each other and have charm and ambiance to spare. Expect loads of great cafes and restaurants, as well as charming, tree-lined sidewalks with art-deco homes or classic architecture. You have lovely little parks and playgrounds nearby, as well as the gargantuan Chapultapec Park within walking distance. 


This is the glitziest neighborhood in Mexico City, where luxury brands have their flagship stores and Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim built the Soumaya Museum. Lovely for a walk but too rich for my tastes. That said, some of the most interesting artsy things to do in Mexico City are in this area, and if you love shopping, then Polanco is what to do in Mexico City. 


This southern neighborhood is where you’ll find Casa Azul, the home/museum of Frida Khalo & Diego Rivera. It’s also home to a great market and park of the same name (Mercado Coyoacan & Vivero Coyoacán). 

These are not the only great Mexico City neighborhoods to explore, but they are the ones I know and love to recommend. Do you know others? Where? 

Where to Stay in Mexico City

Flying in and out of the capital so many times, we’ve stayed in a number of places, and hear about many other great places from other long-term visitors and residents. Yet we’ve barely scratched the surface of all the places to stay in Mexico City. Here are a few we think you should consider. All of these hotels are close to most of our recommended things to do in Mexico City, either by walking or a short taxi ride.

See Our Full Report on Best Mexico City Hotels

Hotel Zocalo Central

Best place to stay in Mexico City to be in the center of it all. Steps from the Zocalo, Templo Mayor and all of the historic district really. Great rooftop for dining and watching the flag ceremony. 

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Courtyard by Marriot Mexico City Airport

Our favorite Mexico City airport hotel. A walkway connects you directly to Terminal 1. Check-in/out is smooth/fast.

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Hotel Marlowe

The wifi on our last visit was not good, but the location one block south of the Palacio de Bellas Arte makes up for it. Also a short walk to the Museo Arte Popular. 

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Suites Havre

We’ve stayed here three times because of the neighborhood and great nearby street food. Fairly basic Mexico City hotel but spacious enough for the four of us. I’ve read complaints about loud guests but never encountered them myself. 

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Hostal Be Condesa

Near the south end of the cool Condesa neighborhood, and only a short walk to great cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlors. Families should book a 4- or 6-bunk room for privacy. 

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Full list of where to stay in Mexico City is here

Where to Eat in Mexico City

Mexico City brunch chilaquiles

One of my favorite things to do in Mexico City is to eat and eat and eat some more. There are so many great places to eat in Mexico City! The best Mexico City restaurants run the gamut from Michelin-starred cuisine to nitty-gritty street tacos. Check out Mercado Roma and Corredor Salamanca for a mix of cuisines and shared seating space. For brunch, Lalo and Petre have a lovely atmosphere and a wide range of classic Mexican breakfasts and more avant-garde fare.

Our favorite Mexican food chain is Casa de Toño. Sure it’s clean and brightly lit like a Subway sandwich shop, but the food is good, it’s cheap, and it comes fast. The staff is super friendly and efficient, too.

If you’re in Mexico City with kids or just have a sweet tooth, head to Dulceria de Celaya for traditional Mexican candies. Churrería El Moro makes the best damn churros & hot chocolate. The flagship is downtown in the historic district, but we frequent the Roma branch most. 

Looking for something cold? Mexico City is loaded with shops specializing in helados (ice cream). Our girl’s favorite is Nevería Roxy, but the line gets long. I personally prefer Helado Obscuro, but maybe because I like flavors infused with whiskey, mezcal, or other spirits. If in a pinch, there are panaderias (bakeries) are all over town. Ask someone where the nearest one is and you’ll find everything from cakes to sandwiches. 

Where to Work in Mexico City 

There are loads of fantastic cafes in Mexico City, but our favorite for work is Blend Station. The food is good, the coffee is great, and the wifi is strong and reliable. All seats have access to plug outlets, too. We’ve come here to kill the hours between check out and a late-day flight. The neighborhood is cool too. 

Best Day Trips from Mexico City

puebla & cholula best day trips from mexico city

There are so many things to do in Mexico City, but if you have time then consider at least one of these day trips from Mexico City as well. 

Puebla & Cholula

These two cities are around two hours away by bus and have a charm all their own. Puebla is a colonial town with a vibrant food scene. Cholula is a college town. In the background sits Popocatépetl, an active volcano.  The most popular day trip from Mexico City for locals and one of the most authentic things to do in Mexico City. 

Puebla and Cholula Day Trip from Mexico City w/Lunch

Puebla & Cholula Full-Day Tour from Mexico City

Day Trip From Mexico City: Cholula Pyramid & Puebla Private Tour

Puebla City Walking Tour

Puebla Secrets (Private Tour)

A Culinary Tour of Puebla

The Teotihuacán Pyramids

These ancient pyramids are what is left of a pre-Colombian city and a is now a UNESCO heritage site. You can walk (and climb) over a lot of this on your own, but you’ll get a lot more out of it by taking a tour. The best day trip from Mexico City for Indiana Jones types. 

Teotihuacan, Shrine of Guadalupe & Tlatelolco Day Trips from Mexico City

Teotihuacan: Early Access with Archaeologist

Full-Day Trips from Mexico City: Teotihuacan & Basilica Guadalupe

Hot-Air Balloon Flight over the Teotihuacan Pyramids

Private Tour of Teotihuacan & Guadalupe Shrine

Teotihuacan Day-Trips From Mexico City & Dinner with the Locals

Small-Group Teotihuacan Pyramids Day Trip from Mexico City

Getting to Mexico City

Before planning things to do in Mexico City, plan how to get there. I know people who have driven from the US to Mexico City, but most people are arriving by plane. The Benito Juarez International airport is quite connected, so it’s not hard to find flights to Mexico City. In fact, there are a lot of direct flights to Mexico City, but add one transfer and the price drops significantly. 

Flights to Mexico City from within Mexico

  • Merida to Mexico City Flights: Getting from Merida to Mexico City direct takes 2 hours.
  • Tulum/Cancun/Playa del Carmen to Mexico City Flights: The rest of the Yucatan flights to Mexico City leave from either Cancun or Cozumel and take less than 3 hours. 
  • Oaxaca City to Mexico City Flights: Oaxaca to Mexico City flights take less than 90 minutes direct
  • Guadalajara to Mexico City Flights: It takes a little over an hour to fly direct Guadalajara to Mexico City.

Flights to Mexico City from the US & Canada

  • Atlanta to Mexico City Flights: Loads of direct flights leaving daily from Atlanta to Mexico City (approx. 3.5 hours)
  • New York to Mexico City Flights: Both Newark and JFK have direct flights NYC to Mexico City. La Guardia requires a transfer. Approx. 5-8 hours. 
  • Toronto to Mexico City Flights: Direct Toronto to Mexico City flights leave daily and take less than 5 hours. 
  • Miami to Mexico City Flights: Direct Miami to Mexico City flights take approx. 3.5 hours
  • Dallas/Houston to Mexico City Flights: Loads of direct flights from Dallas & Houston to Mexico City. Some even land in the domestic airport. Approx. 2.5 hours. 
  • Chicago to Mexico City Flights: Plenty of daily direct flights take around 4.5 hours.
  • San Francisco/Los Angeles/San Diego to Mexico City Flights: Heaps of direct flights to choose from daily. Most take between 4-6 hours.

Flights to Mexico City from Europe

  • London to Mexico City Flights: Direct Flights London to Mexico City leave daily and take approx. 12 hours. 
  • Barcelona/Madrid to Mexico City Flights: Direct flights from Madrid and Barcelona to Mexico City leave daily and take less than 12 hours.
  • Paris to Mexico City Flights: Direct flights Paris to Mexico City leave daily and take approx. 14 hours.
  • Amsterdam to Mexico City Flights: Direct flights from Amsterdam to Mexico City leave daily and take approx. 12 hours. 

Flights to Mexico City from Latin America

  • Peru to Mexico City Flights: Plenty of daily direct flights Lima to Mexico City take approx 6.5 hours. 
  • Brazil to Mexico City Flights: Aeromexico flies direct Sao Paulo to Mexico City daily
  • Costa Rica to Mexico City Flights: Direct flights San Jose to Mexico City last less than 4 hours
  • Colombia to Mexico City Flights: Regular flights from Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena to Mexico City last 4+ hours, depending on transfer time (we flew direct from Medellin).

Flights to Mexico City from Asia

  • Japan to Mexico City Flights: Daily direct flights from Tokyo to Mexico City last under 13 hours.
  • Korea to Mexico City Flights: Aeromexico flies direct Seoul to Mexico City in about 14 hours.

Mexico City Attractions & Things to Do in Mexico City: What’s Missing?

Have you been to Mexico City? Were you in Mexico City with kids or on your own? Do you know what to do in Mexico City that should be added to this Mexico City travel blog post? If so, let us know in the comments! Tell us more great things to do in Mexico City!

Plan Your Trip to Mexico City

Find The Cheapest Flight to Mexico City on Flight Search

Book The Best Hotels in Mexico City

Don’t Forget to Get Travel Insurance


Further Reading


Things to Do in Mexico City PIN 1

Disclaimer: This Mexico City travel blog post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you buy something or book Mexico City tours through our links, we might get a small commission. You pay nothing extra, so don’t worry. Also, everything you see here is just my personal opinion. I only recommend places, activities, and gear that I believe will genuinely help you find the best things to do in Mexico City. 

Photo Credits via Creative Commons CC-BY or other Royalty-free image sites. Some images may have been altered slightly via cropping or color enhancement: #2, #3, #17, #22, #23, #28, #30, #31, #34, #37


  1. Carlos Bach says

    We all know Mexico is a Lovely turist place to visit. A lot of people are coming here to spent their vacation with their children and family from all around the world to experience this amazing place. A recently study says that Most of the turist are facing a problem in gating the cab and private transport service from the cancun airport. Since it’s a heavy public place so people doesn’t get immediate cab so it’s better to aware about this matter and if you are planning to visit Mexico then make sure you should book an online private transportation service before you arrive there so that you will get your taxi immediately you reached there.

  2. Mubeen Naqvi says

    This is a very Unique Article. I have only one word: Awesome.

    Thank you so much.